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Andrew Siemion to Receive the SETI Institute’s 2024 Drake Award

Andrew Siemion to Receive the SETI Institute’s 2024 Drake Award

Andrew Siemion
Credit: Dr. Andrew Siemion.

March 28, 2024, Mountain View, CA -- The SETI Institute is pleased to announce that Dr. Andrew Siemion will be honored with the prestigious 2024 Drake Award for his exceptional and pioneering contributions to SETI and radio astronomy and his leadership in the field. Siemion's distinguished career includes his role as the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute, Principal Investigator for the Breakthrough Listen Initiative at the University of Oxford, along with holding an Honorary Professorship at the University of Manchester, an Adjunct Appointment at the University of Malta, and directing the Berkeley SETI Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. His dedication to SETI science and funding has been crucial in advocating for the scientific validity and importance of the field.

Named after Dr. Frank Drake, the SETI Institute's inaugural president of its Board of Trustees and the architect of the Drake Equation, the Drake Award celebrates remarkable achievements in the realms of SETI and astrobiology. Drake, often heralded as the father of SETI, launched the first SETI experiment, Project Ozma, at the Green Bank Radio Observatory in 1960, and his Drake Equation has become a fundamental framework for astrobiology. Drake Award recipients are nominated by the SETI Institute's Science Advisory Board and ratified by its Board of Trustees. The 2024 Drake Award presentation marks a significant occasion as it continues to honor the legacy of Dr. Drake following his passing in 2022.

“It is profoundly humbling to receive an award named after Frank Drake,” said Siemion. “I was privileged to know Frank as both a friend and a colleague, and his immense generosity of spirit and scientific curiosity made an indelible imprint on me as a scientist and human. As we mark the 40th anniversary of the SETI Institute and look toward the next forty years in the search for technologically capable life, we see how far Frank's vision and leadership have brought us and the amazing opportunities for discovery ahead."

"Andrew Siemion, in a still young career, has become one of the world's most prominent and productive SETI researchers," said Bill Diamond, CEO of the SETI Institute. "From leading the transformation of the Allen Telescope Array to world-class status to conceiving the COSMIC project on the VLA to presiding over the Breakthrough Listen initiative, Andrew has transformed the field of radio SETI research and left his permanent mark on this profound endeavor. We are delighted to honor Andrew as our 2024 Drake Award recipient."

Siemion received his AB (2008), MA (2010) and Ph.D. (2012) in Astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, during which he received a Josephine De Karman Fellowship, the Dorothea Klumpke Roberts Award and the Mary Elizabeth Uhl Dissertation Prize for his work in astronomical instrumentation and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. 

Since its inception in 2001, extraordinary individuals such as Frank Drake, Charles Townes, William Borucki, Victoria Meadows, Jason Wright, Paul Horowitz, Dan Werthimer, Shelley Wright and John Rummel have received the Drake Award for their groundbreaking contributions.

Drake Awards Logo 2024

The 2024 Drake Awards ceremony is scheduled for May 16, 2024, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, at a public event. The SETI Institute will also livestream the event via Zoom for those unable to attend in person. Dr. Moiya McTier, an astrophysicist, folklorist, and author, will host the event. In addition to the Drake Award, the ceremony will include the presentation of the SETI Forward Award, which encourages future scientists in their pursuit of life in the universe, and the Carl Sagan Director's Award, recognizing exceptional contributions to astrobiology, technology, and the exploration of life in the universe.

Registration and information for this event can be found:

About the SETI Institute
Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary research and education organization whose mission is to lead humanity’s quest to understand the origins and prevalence of life and intelligence in the Universe and to share that knowledge with the world. Our research encompasses the physical and biological sciences and leverages expertise in data analytics, machine learning and advanced signal detection technologies. The SETI Institute is a distinguished research partner for industry, academia and government agencies, including NASA and NSF.

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Rebecca McDonald
Director of Communications
SETI Institute




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